Friday, July 31, 2009

Now THAT'S what I call garlic!

I'm generally of the 'laws-and-sausages' school of writing about food in that I don't particularly care for process photos. Step-by-step photos about dinner seem to say, more than anything else, "these are some beans. These are some beans in a colander. Here are some other beans." like Patty and Selma's vacation slides, and that just ain't my style.

All that said, you gotta see this.
Penny included for scale.

That is one hell of a garlic clove, a b-movie monster-sized foodstuff, and it tasted nothing like its more common cousins (it came in the CSA box this week). It was sweet and just slightly tangy without any of the oily bitterness that can accompany garlic. It's mild, too, mild enough that I threw that whole clove into the recipe below and didn't end up backing away in fear of my own breath once I had to eat the stuff. It was the shallot of garlics.
...and it was great in the Mexican-inflected rice I threw it in, though in retrospect a pasta with cream sauce would have let it shine better. Maybe next time - we've got more of it.

In any event.


1 cup brown rice
2 1/4 cups water
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt

1 huge sweet garlic clove, chopped coarse
1 1/2 cups raw corn
1/2 cup green onion
1 tomato, diced

1/2 tbsp butter
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp yellow mustard powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
juice of half a lime, halved
salt and pepper

The Gist:

I used our rice cooker for the rice because rice cookers are awesome, but a saucepan with a lid works fine. put the first four ingredients in the saucepan, heat until boiling, cover, and simmer until done. You may have to play with the water content - slightly less that 2 1/4 cups seems to be perfect for the brown rice we usually have around, but it can vary.

After the rice is halfway done (20-25 minutes or so, but be careful) heat the butter over mediumish heat in another pan until it bubbles. add the rest of the ingredients except for the tomato and half the lime juice. Cook slowly, keeping it moving, until the corn is tender and the garlic smells awesome. Add the tomato and remove from heat. Tomato is delicate and you want it to warm, not cook and dissolve.

When the rice is done, put it in a large bowl, add the other ingredients and mix it together with a spoon. Add the rest of the lime juice and serve.

1 cup of brown rice turns out to be a lot of rice once you add all the other stuff to it - this quantity will serve 3 as a meal unto itself. As a side, probably closer to 5. It's good with shrimp and sour cream, too, but what isn't.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Big Shrimpin'

Made lunch today and was pressed for time (still am) and didn't feel like digging through the fridge for all of the "right" ingredients, so I grabbed the first few things I saw from the CSA shelf and chucked them into a bowl with some cut-up shrimp.
It turned out really well.

That's shrimp, green onions, (the last of the) garlic scapes, mayo, lemon juice, paprika, and black pepper on toasted pumpernickel with (the last of the) muenster. Very light. Lean a little heavy on the lemon juice, no extra salt, light on the pepper. The muenster was just a bit too strong; sharp provolone would have been better. It would be good next to a bowl of soup, I imagine.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Slaw Disposal Method 1

It didn't occur to me, though it probably should have, that having too many radishes to eat in a week and turning those radishes into slaw would inevitably result in having too much slaw to eat.
...So I've been putting it on pretty much everything. For the record, that's turkey, muenster, slaw, cucumber and mayo piled onto rye, and it was epic.

Next, I'm thinking omelets.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Radish Slawghter

We joined a CSA this year. It was a practical choice, for the most part - our vegetable intake was a bit on the low side and our preferred supermarket, while being awesome-cheap for most things and having generics that blow their name brand competitors out of the water in price and, shockingly, taste, is a bit hit-or-miss when it comes to produce.

This hasn't been a good summer for Massachusetts agriculture so far. Too much rain and not enough sun means all sorts of normal summer crops are behind schedule (no local corn yet and no tomatoes) while green leafy things are doing just fine. With our first CSA box last week, we got some lettuces and peas and other tasty things, along with a gigantic mess of radishes, and how many radishes can two people realistically eat? CSAs are the Right Thing To Do, I think, but they're also expensive - you get what you pay for but you get a lot of it, and every last bit thrown away because you can't find a use for it or forgot about it in the crisper (sorry, arugula; sorry Farmer Dave) hurts a little.

The other thing about CSAs is, we went into it thinking we were going to save money off of our weekly grocery trips because we wouldn't have to buy as many vegetables. That might be a little true, but realistically we just end up eating more vegetables - we're eating healthier, not cheaper.

Anyway. What do you do when you have radishes coming out of your ears?
Make slaw out of them.

This recipe might not be to everybody's taste - I'm pretty easy-going, food-wise, but I'm overly picky about slaw, about water content and texture and cut and...I get excitable in diners, is what I'm saying. Also, there's no cabbage in this slaw, mostly because I didn't get any from the CSA this week, but there ARE garlic scapes in it because I did get those. Throw a little bit of garlic in it if you'd like and if you don't want to go scape-hunting, but don't overdo it.


(I did this by eye - you know what slaw's supposed to look like, right? Keep adding stuff until it's the right combination of colors. I've listed the ingredients relationally with a basic idea, but your gut's probably a better guide. The recipe itself is a modification of this one from

1 cup Radishes, rough cut in slivers
1/3 cup bell pepper, chopped
1/2 as much of the bell pepper as Carrot, rough cut in slivers
1/2 as much of the bell pepper as Garlic Scapes

2 tbsp vinegar, any will do, I used Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tsp Sugar
2 leaves fresh Sage, slivered
1/2 tsp Olive Oil
1/4 tsp Mustard Powder
generous twists of Salt and Pepper

The Gist:

You can use a food processor for this, but I don't - hand-cut ingredients in slaw makes it less paste-like and less uniform. It shouldn't take long to cut your veggies by hand.

Combine the salad ingredients in one bowl and the dressing ingredients in another. Whisk the dressing and pour it over the salad. Refrigerate for 15 minutes or so and serve. The quantities above will serve 2 people as sides or 4 on sandwiches. Personally:
...I like it with bacon and muenster and a little bit of mayo on wheat.